A Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 16, 2015

Happy Monday K-State Nation!

This is a busy week for K-State Athletics, and in a moment we'll have a full list to remind you of all the opportunities you have to support your Wildcats as you make your plans!

It is hard to remember a week with as many different emotional events as the past seven days. Regionally, it was the difficult and complex situation just four hours down I-70 at our former longtime conference partner Missouri. We are reminded that we must work every day to be active listeners and truly care about the experience and well-being of every member of our community. Nationally, it was the solemn annual observance of Veterans Day -- with our close partnership with the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, we see every day the sacrifices and service of our nation's military families up close and personal right here in the Flint Hills. And, of course, internationally, the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris have weighed on all of our hearts since Friday -- we have a number of French nationals at K-State, including our own outstanding freshman golf student-athlete Jeremy Gandon.

There were many bright spots in the last week ... for K-State Athletics that included a fabulous Friday with an equestrian upset victory over No. 6 TCU in our final home show of the fall, a season-opening men's basketball victory in Bramlage, led by a double-double from junior Wesley Iwundu, a big road win at Tulsa by Jeff Mittie's young women's basketball charges and a No. 23 finish by Morgan Wedekind in the NCAA cross country regionals in Lawrence which garnered her All-Region honors.

Early Saturday morning I journeyed to Lubbock via DFW out of MHK on American Airlines for our football game at Texas Tech. Clearly it has been an unprecedentedly tough stretch for our team as our last six games have included four conference teams currently ranked nationally between 4th and 11th depending on which poll you follow, and two more strong conference foes on the road. I am so proud of how Coach Snyder and our student-athletes continue to battle united despite tough breaks and injuries -- thanks to his leadership we have become accustomed to winning those close games. The continued effort of our team has been a great testament to Coach Snyder's Goal No. 10 -- Never Give Up.

This week we'll have plenty of opportunities to show the nation how we support our teams, and I encourage you to be in Bramlage tonight as we take on Abilene Christian at 5:30 p.m. in women's basketball followed by a big men's game at 8 p.m. against Columbia, the preseason No. 2 team in the Ivy League led by German national team member Maodo Lo.

Take Tuesday night off to get some laundry done before Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Suzie Fritz's red-hot volleyball squad entertains Iowa State in Ahearn Field House. Despite injuries of their own, the senior-less 'Cats have won five in a row and stand in fourth place in the Big 12 with an 8-4 record. Click here for today’s Sports Extra video feature on Katie Brand.

Thursday it is back to Bramlage for a 7 p.m. women's basketball match-up with South Dakota, while the Coyote men will arrive for a 7 p.m. game on Friday. Of course you can watch all these events live nationally thanks to a combination of K-StateHD.TV to ESPN3 and FOX Sports Kansas City, but if you are local, we need you here in the building.

And, of course, on Saturday a national Fox Sports 1 audience will tune in for our 11 a.m. football kickoff versus Iowa State. Since my arrival in 2009, my experience with this series is that with the exception of the 2013 tilt, every game has come down to the wire. We also have more equestrian (Delaware State and Texas A&M) and volleyball (Texas) action on the road Saturday.

You've heard me say before that my two favorite of Coach Snyder's 16 goals are No. 3 -- Unity, and No. 12 -- No Self Limitations. I know we are all busy as the holidays and semester end both approach. This week I ask you to make a special effort to be in Bramlage, Ahearn and Bill Snyder Family Stadium starting with tonight's basketball games. Let’s show our student-athletes, and the world, what it means to be a part of the K-State #Family -- and provide that noisy edge of support of all our teams in honor of Coach Snyder's Goal No. 3 -- Unity.

Should be a fun week; now let’s close with a few more updates!

Rolando Blackman to be Inducted into CBB HOF!
Friday will be a special night for K-State as former All-American basketball great Rolando Blackman will be one of eight individuals inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Blackman is the first men’s basketball player to be named to the Hall of Fame and the second with K-State ties, following legendary coach Tex Winter’s induction in 2010. The ceremony will be at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City and officially kicks off the 2015 CBE Classic which will take place November 23-24 and features the Wildcats, Missouri, North Carolina and Northwestern. Also, click here for a terrific video in the new Big 12 Champion for Life campaign as Rolando talks about his college experience, which includes returning to Manhattan to finish his degree as part of our Second Wind program. We plan to honor Rolando during the football game as well.

NCAA Releases Officiating Instructional Video
With the start of basketball season upon us, the NCAA last week released a brief instructional video that is a great summary of all of the rules changes that have been put into place this basketball season. Click here to watch the video and you can click here for updates and new changes on the women’s side.

#FlyMHK Recognized with Customer Cup by American Airlines
American Airlines has recognized its Manhattan station with its coveted Customer Cup award, which is given quarterly to those partners who have displayed superb customer service! Manhattan was awarded the honor over more than 70 similarly sized stations. Congrats to Manhattan Regional Airport, and be sure and follow all of the recent construction progress by following FlyMHK on twitter or via their website. The daily AA jet service has been a tremendous asset to the K-State, Manhattan and Fort Riley communities and is a key component of our vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program and President Schulz’s K-State 2025 goal of advancing K-State into the ranks of the Top 50 public research institutions in the country.

That will do it for today. I appreciate how much you care!

Go Cats!


John